Dear soon to be Well Travelled Brides,
Wellington as a destination is famously noted as “the coolest little capital in the world” and runs off exceptional coffee, its vibrant, creative people and a small city charm. Wrapped in by large hills and surrounded by water, Wellington’s size does not impact its resident’s interest in the arts, worldly thinking, fine food and luxury wedding and travel experiences. We think Wellington, Kapiti and the Wairarapa region is the perfect place, with oodles of style and local appeal, to have your intimate destination wedding or elopement. Just be warned you will leave with lots of affection for Wellington and the region because, as you will hear the locals say, “you can’t beat Wellington on a good day”.
Make sure you travel well and send us a picture postcard.
Well Travelled Bride
WEDDINGS & ELOPEMENTS
So you've fallen positively in love with Wellington, we can't blame you. Its a stylish choice for any couple wanting something quirky and non-traditional. At one end of the spectrum you have Wellington - cool, creative and colourful with a jaw-dropping New Zealand coastline. Then you have the Wairarapa which is all about wine, countryside and culture.
New Zealand has a really DIY (do it yourself) approach to everything, so the same goes when planning a wedding. But for those wanting something extraordinary or the guidance of an expert there are a few sort-after planners available to you. Given the quaint size of the region, the vendors who live here all know the ins and outs of everything and will be a valuable part of making your wedding or elopement everything you want it to be.
INVITATIONS & STATIONERY
Wellington is a city full of creative people. Whist there are some 'wedding stationery' services within the region, we'd absolutely opt for the independent graphic designers and calligraphers. They are all on their own buzz, and will be able to bring your visions to life. There are some high-end printeries in the area too which will ensure nothing but the best first impression for your guest.
If you love style, cuisine and wine then Wellington is by default a fabulous hens party (bachelorette party) destination. The biggest challenge will be choosing a destination (Wellington or Wairarapa) and narrowing down your choices of stops along the way. We suggest hosting a full weekend for your closest ladies and indulging in all the cultured experiences on offer.
Adventure is what New Zealand is all about. So when it comes to stag do's (bachelor parties), the options for boozy nights on the town are outweighed by nature based, high thrill sports and activities. Many of Wellingtons most prestigious venues offer full day packages, at the other end of the spectrum the thing we love about New Zealand is you can gather your best mates and head to the bush to create your own adventure.
Between Wellington, Wairarapa and Kapiti there are a surprising number of gorgeous venues. Wether your wanting rustic and humble, city chic, countryside glamour... there is something for every occasion. Its one of the most important elements to wedding planning with so many elements coming into play - theme, budget, season (weather is a big thing to consider in Wellington). We've researched, curated and experienced the very best on offer and passed it on to you.
Very excitingly, the region is filled with boutique, country garden flower growers and only seasonal flowers are available in New Zealand, so the professionals know how to pull off your lush, floral fantasy just perfectly. To match, there are some world-class florists & stylists on hand. If your planning a Wellington wedding, one thing we suggest you make a priority and give some extra love is your wedding flowers.
Wellington is a place full of creative, quirky dressing individuals. You will be spellbound by the beautiful options you have in Wellington and Wairarapa, and what could be more treasured than buying the most special dress of your life from a local New Zealand designer.
Its good to be a Groom in Wellington! Its a city full of stylish men, and lots of services, boutiques and attention given to them. Wellington proudly offers many bespoke, made-in-house tailors that range from classic to high end to alternative. Planning your groom and groomsmen outfits will be a fun experience and one you should ensure to do locally.
You may be gathering by now that Wellington is a creative and art-full city. So you may of gathered you will have no problem finding a gorgeous photographer to capture all your memories. You will need to book in advance as the very best in the region are naturally sought after. There are endless quirky backdrops in Wellington and rolling country hills in Wairarapa so make sure you get out there and amongst it all.
Having a wedding video made is an expense and detail which shouldn't be overlooked. Gone are the days of cringing videos, at least in Wellington we've sound some world-class videographers who will allow you to relive your most special day over and over again. Wellington, sometimes referred to as “Wellywood” because of its thriving film industry, is definitely the place to find yourself in the starring role in your own romantic love story, THE END.
HAIR & MAKE UP
Let’s face it, there are things on your wedding planning list that you should never compromise on. Your hair and makeup is one of those. Its incredibly hard to pick out the reliable, high-quality artists with good personalities through a website or yellow pages. It takes a friend referral or a Well Travelled recommendation. Here is our list of the very best on offer who we can promise will make your day more fabulous, sparkly and stress-free. Pucker up and let the good times roll.
We think the food is a pretty important part of a wedding and you don’t have to go far anywhere in New Zealand (Wellington and Wairarapa in particular) to find people as passionate as we are about good food. It’s important to work with your chosen venue and check what they offer or for any preferred suppliers that you must use. Work with your suppliers to get the best of the season on the plate and discuss any opportunities to treat your guest to something special.
Putting a wedding together is made much easier by delegating any support you need to someone who knows what they are doing. We are huge fans of adding lighting to venues as it can transform an already incredible space into something outrageously magical. You will find everything you need in our Wellington guide to add the finishing touches and provide the extras that you need.
Music can make memories, having music throughout wedding day will certainly add to the atmosphere. Perhaps you will need your favourite song played as you walk down the aisle or a lively musician to lead your guest to congo at the reception. Wellington has a cool music scene full of lively, alternative bands and performers. Most people have a demo session available to listen to or you can find them performing on youtube.
It can be tricky choosing the right celebrant for you. They can have various approaches and present themselves in different styles, talk to them about the type of ceremony you want and if you feel they offer suggestions you like then you have probably found the right one. The celebrant has an important role in making sure the ceremony has the right feel for you. Our Wellington and Wairarapa guide contains the loveliest celebrants we found, so make sure you get in touch to get your date booked in and get the paperwork underway so you can meet your true love at the end of aisle in a perfectly planned style.
Last but not least, your very first step in planning your Wellington nuptials is looking into the legal requirements for getting married in New Zealand. Fortunately its an easy process for most foreigners (especially with Wellington being the capital!) however you will need to start the process two months prior to your wedding date. We know no-one enjoys these logistics, so we've put together all the information you should need to make the process easier.
Wellington, being a small city, only has a handful of suggestible hotel options to consider, all of which are in our travel guide. There are lots very charming cottages scattered around the region along with some larger, more exclusive, estates and of course, our featured Wairarapa lodge. The climate in the lower North Island can be very varied, so our choices for you are well set up for all year round stays; they are places to nest for the Winter and places to get out and enjoy in the summer.
In New Zealand, and especially in Wellington and Wairarapa, good food is a high priority. At all our of exceptional finds listed in our travel guide, we have had top notch experiences. The food available is very seasonal and lots is locally supplied, which we loved, and there is a good range of cuisines across the region. It’s definitely worth visiting the vineyards that offer food and platters and also any artisan tastings you can do at the small producers or farms. Bookings are often essential at most places, particularly if you are a larger group, so planning ahead is a must. The weekends are busier and if there is a local festival happening, the populations swells.
Many of the vineyards in the region are located on the flat plains of the Wairarapa, there are a few scattered across the wider region and form part of the New Zealand wine trail. Each of the characterful producers we met had a unique story and we encourage you to taste, listen and experience the charm they have to offer. We have included some of our favourite local finds in the travel guide, but follow your nose as there are bound to be more along the way. If you want to take life really easy you can stay in Martinborough Village and hire a bicycle or tandem to wheel you around from stop to stop, of course making time for plenty of food and wine samples as you go.
ARTS & CULTURE
This is New Zealand, just get out and get amongst it! There are plenty of enjoyable activities for everyone in Wellington, Wairarapa and Kapiti Coast. Home to museums as well as a scattering of boutique theatres, art galleries and small picture theatres, there is always something of interest to go along and see. When the sun is shining, you can sip wine at a vineyard, take a ferry ride over the Cook Straight or enjoy a romantic promenade along the Wellington waterfront.
Wellington is a treasure troves of local delights. You can walk the streets, pop from town to town and find all sorts of treats. It is a real little mix of character cafe and eateries, quaint stops, interesting people, artisans and their products. Stir all of that up into one region’s melting pot and you get something that is both endlessly cool and fun.
FASHION & RETAIL
Wellington is our favourite New Zealand shopping destination, we aren't alone with many out of towers visiting especially for shopping sprees. There are some real gems which we highly recommend visiting for colourful, creative clothing, home wears and gifts. The Wairarapa has smaller gift and vintage shops to explore but anything that is an essential for your wedding or your stay we recommend you source from the city.
The Wellington coffee scene must be world renowned in the right circles, with a claimed number of more cafes per capita that New York, these hipsters know their blends, cremas and grinds. We can’t think of another place that does the character cafe so well as Wellington, with each one having their own take on the styling and offerings but all serving great coffee. The bad thing is, if you don’t live here then you might have to start drinking tea when you get back home because once you have sampled the right coffee for you, nothing else will do.
What season to visit? How to get there? What to pack? Do I need a visa? Not that your full of inspiration and your itinerary is planned, its time to get down to business. All your logistical questions answered for planning your trip to Wellington!
One thing we absolutely love about Wellington is its a walking city. But when you want to venture further afield to the likes of Wairarapa or the coast, you will need a form of transport. We've got the best deals and recommendations for you to ensure you are always travelling in style!
Want to know more?
So you heart is set on Wellington! We can't blame you, it holds a special place in our hearts too. We know consider ourselves to be Well Travelled experts in the region after researching, travelling and experiencing everything first hand. For all enquires on bespoke services and planning your destination wedding or holiday, please get in touch!
Kelsey & the Well Travelled team x